Your drawing skills aren’t great.

Your drawing skills aren’t great.

Your drawing skills aren’t great.

That’s what I was told by a tutor when I was at art college approximately 1 million years ago. Thanks for that mate.

He did go on to say that I had a very sophisticated use of colour… which was well received by me haha. I’m easily pleased! The point is that 1 million years later, I still remember this exchange. (If you can call it an exchange… I’m pretty sure I remained mute while absorbing this information and taking it to be an irrefutable fact.)

I hear all the time from visitors to my studio, that they were told at school they were no good at art. Why teachers do this is beyond me. It really leaves a lasting impression on the student. I see my role as a tutor as an opportunity to enthuse people. We all have different creative skills and when you find your flow with colour, line, design or composition, the door is open to develop the other skills alongside.

We are born with creativity coursing through us. As young children, we thrown colour and line around with utter confidence and as adults, I think the starting point for creative flow, is to learn to play again.  Apart from anything else, it’s fun, and who doesn’t enjoy having a good time while simultaneously creating something lovely?

So off I went on my merry way, bathing in a colourful painterly life. I took the compliment and never questioned that colour was my thing, while somewhat lacking in the drawing department. Fast forward nearly a million years, oh ok, more like 30 years, and I went on a painting workshop as a student. I do this occasionally because it’s fun and good for my practice. A rather fantastic painter called Hester Berry was running the show on this day, and she talked about drawing regularly being an important part of her work. I looked at her drawings and thought, yeah I can see why. I may be no good at it, but I’m going to give it a go again.

Off I went and got myself a lovely shiny new sketchbook. Well Hester, you were right! My first few were dodgy as they come, but I now draw all the time. It informs my painting, gives me a lovely portable way to work, increases my ability to look and observe, brings confidence to my mark making. I used to draw as a means to an end. To make shapes for the colourful painty bit to bring up the rear and make a party of the situation. No more. Now I draw to enjoy drawing.

I literally love it! And guess what… I flipping CAN draw. I just needed to stop caring what I was told and go for it.

If you fancy a fun day of drawing, come over to my Leicestershire studio and have a go at one of the workshops. It really is fun to draw.